Letters, Tuesday, March 25, 2015

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Zero-hour ban is not the answer

IN his reply to the budget, Ed Miliband talked yet again about ending zero-hour contracts.

 I work for a small business that uses zero-hour contracts and I say now that by banning these contracts Ed Miliband would be putting at least a third of our staff out of a job and onto the dole.

 This is a situation, I well imagine, that would be repeated at other companies around the country as well.

 Ed is quite right to say people need job security, however, simply banning zero-hour contracts does not create job security for those who lose their job as a result. It puts them back into the benefits cycle, which Labour is keen to propagate as a means of keeping the public docile.

 Instead of banning the contracts outright we must focus on reforming them.

 The Government performed a consultation on this in 2013 and identified the areas we need to work on. Rather than spouting off rhetoric and empty promises, Ed Miliband should be working with the Government to deliver the needed reforms and give people a chance at a life in employment rather than condemning them to the dole queue!

Harry Todd

Supporters are rewriting history

SOME Labour supporters are trying frantically to re-write history. However, independent sources hold the truth.

 When Labour was last in office its impact on the North East region was awful.

 Just some of the facts about this are: Labour saw 10 jobs created in the South for every one in the North.

 For every private sector job created in the North and Midlands between 1998 and 2008, 10 were created in London and the South (Centre for Cities, Private sector cities: A new geography of opportunity, 2010, Page 6).

 The North lost out in economic growth compared to the South under Labour. Gross Value Added per head, as a percentage of the total UK level, fell from 1997 to 2009 across the North (North East -2.1 percentage points, North West -2.3 percentage points, Yorkshire and the Humber -6.0 percentage points), but rose in London by 14.7 percentage points and by 0.9 percentage points in the South East over the same period (ONS, Regional Trends – Directory of Online Tables, Table 3.3, March 2011; workplace-based GVA per head, as percentage of UK total).

 Manufacturing halved as a share of the economy under Labour. Between 1997 and 2009, manufacturing as a share of GDP declined from 20 per cent of GDP to 11 per cent of GDP – the fastest decline under any government since records began in 1980 (ONS Time Series ABML and QTPI). This hit the North East region with the loss of 54,000 manufacturing jobs.

 Manufacturing declined fastest as a share of the economy under Labour. Between 1997 and 2009, manufacturing as a share of GDP declined from 20 per cent of GDP to 11 per cent of GDP – this is the fastest decline under any government since records began in 1980 (ONS Time Series ABML and QTPI).

 Manufacturing firms down by a fifth under Labour. Since 1997, the number of manufacturing businesses operating in the UK fell by 22 per cent (ONS, Annual Business Inquiry, November 17, 2009).

 Labour left more unemployed when leaving office as when they took office.

 Now can they be trusted to run the economy?

Alan Wright

Bullying tactic

I WAS interested to read Edwin Robinson’s recent letter regarding charity donations.

  I too make donations and was shocked to receive a letter asking me if I would consider increasing the amount I give.

 Like Mr Robinson, I cancelled my donation.

 Times are hard for charities, I know, but people donate what they can. They don’t need to be bullied into giving more. We already donate what we can.

Jeanette Smith